Casinos discuss new COVID-19 safety protocols, predict $200 million in losses

MARYLAND – State lottery and gaming officials are discussing ways to keep guests and workers safe once they’re given the green light to reopen.

Among many things, they’re looking at limiting capacity to possibly half of what each casino normally allows as well as addition to signage, PPE and extensive cleaning. They’re also discussing installing plexiglass barriers on slot machines and in front of the cage where people go to the counter. Officials say many of these protocols will likely be in place for a while as part of their “new normal”.

“These operating procedures and protocols we are developing will be in place for some period of time . So it really is establishing a new normal that we will be following for some period of time. We want to get it right but we also know we are going to constantly be tweaking it to make it even better as we go forward,” says Gordon Medenica, the director of Maryland Lottery and Gaming.

Officials are also talking about doing entry point testing to check temperatures of guests and they’re constantly listening to input from the medical community. Maryland officials say if casinos remain closed through the end of June, the state could lose an estimated $200 million.

Ocean Downs Casino in Berlin says in a statement, “We are excited for the opportunity to welcome our customers back to Ocean Downs and will comply with all directives from our state and local officials in terms of reopening. In the meantime, our team is working diligently to provide the safest environment possible for when that time comes.”

Categories: Local News, Maryland